This machine has been in my family for three generations

I love my sewing machine. From everything I can tell, its a Singer 99-13, made around 1928-1930. It is a low-shank lock stitch machine, which in basic terms means it sews straight and forward only. Until now! Or, until someone pretty awesome over at the Singer factor figured out a way to make attachments that alter the stitch. The machine still does what it does best…. and your fabric moves to accommodate the stitch. There are quite a few how-tos for the buttonholer but I couldn’t find anything about the zigzag attachment I bought (eBay is your friend!) So here are a few photos and some video- hopefully this helps someone else trying to figure out one of these attachments.

attachment box

The part I have is a Singer Adjustable zigzag attachment, for lock-stitch machines. It is part number 121706. There are other sorts of zigzag attachments out there, but I picked this one because it looks like a regular attachment, so I thought it would be easiest to start with. Plus I found it pretty cheaply. :-)

The part itself seems to be fairly straight forward. It attaches to the shank the same way the other attachments do, with a bolt. There are two spaces for the bolt, I put it in the lower one.

zig zag attached

The fork shaped part needs to go over the needle screw- this allows the attachment to work with your stitching. The screw in the back adjusts the width of the zag… I played around with this a little. If the screw is too tight, you end up with a mostly straight stitch. In this photo I have the extra attachment screwed on to the base, it is for joining fabrics (I still don’t know how to use that).

the flip side

I figured all that out, but the device still wasn’t going side to side… I think the little rabbit-eared looking part in the bottom right of the flip side image is the key to that- when turned out to the left, the device goes back and forth. Whats interesting about this attachment is that you don’t need to cover your feeder dogs like you do with the button holer. The fabric is still fed forward, but I suppose the extra tension on the attachment gets it to move from side to side. I think I’ll need a fair amount of practice with this device, and need a steady hand to feed the fabric through, but I’m pretty excited about all the possibilities.

As I learn more about the attachment, I’ll post it up… till then- here’s some video of it in action.